JP Cullen Logo
Close this search box.

Extreme Home Makeover: Hippo Edition

Tiffany Scuglik

The Milwaukee County Zoo is home to two large hippos whose home has recently undergone a makeover that will positively impact not only the hippos but zoo visitors too. The renovation of the exhibit is the second phase of the Adventure Africa project which will have transformed 25% of the zoo once complete. The upgrade will make viewing the hippos seamless, with underwater viewing areas and an open concept. With the completion of this project, the Milwaukee County Zoo becomes one of 12 zoos in the country to have an underwater viewing pool for its hippos.

Meet the Hippos

Milwaukee County Zoo is home to hippos Happy and Patti. Happy is a 39-year-old male hippo that weighs 5,500 pounds and is 11 feet long. Born and raised in Washington, D.C, Happy traveled the country in a 16-wheel semi-truck to get to his new home in the Cream City. Patti is a 51-year-old female hippo, making her the oldest hippo in the care of a zoo in the United States!

Life is Better at the Beach

The new exhibit includes a much larger beach area for the hippos to lay out and get some sun. The beach is three times larger than the previous exhibit and features different surfaces for the hippos to decide where they want to lay. From April through October, the hippos will be able to enjoy the sun. Fun Fact: Hippos can be found in the wild in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Grab Your Towels

Did you know that hippos on average spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in water? The pool area of the exhibit is one of the unique features of the new space. The pool include different depths of water, reaching 7ft at the deepest spot. There are sloped rocks and ramps creating a variety of resting spaces for the hippos. Choice is an important part of animal enrichment and this space will contribute to meeting the hippos physical and psychological needs.

Clean and Healthy

Another important feature of the new exhibit is the ozone that is being used to clean and purify the indoor and outdoor pools. The system will create a healthier environment for the hippos and is environmentally friendly. Previously zookeepers had to clean out the pool daily, but with this system it will clean itself saving time and effort.

The Milwaukee County Zoo is currently open with specific rules and regulations. To check out the new hippo exhibit, head to to get your ticket.

See you at the zoo!


Cullen icon

Related Posts

May 28, 2024